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06 February 2012


Two-Year Partnership Will Build ‘Young Friends’ Group To Support The World-Renowned Saint Louis University Liver Center

ST. LOUIS, MO.: The Board of Directors for the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center announces that the not-for-profit organization has recently entered into a new two-year strategic partnership with Launch St. Louis. This two-year strategic partnership officially goes into effect in January, 2012.

Over the course of the next two years, Launch St. Louis will assist the Friends of the St. Louis University Liver Center in building a vibrant base of young professional board members, donors and advocates. Highlights will include implementing at least one signature fundraising and recruitment event, as well as building an online presence for the new young friends group.

“This is an exciting partnership for the Friends of the Saint Louis University, which will allow us to bring our mission to a new demographic group, and create targeted fundraising and educational opportunities focused on young professionals,” notes Friends Executive Director Leisa Duff.

Launch St. Louis is a collaboration of St. Louis’ young professionals working to energize and develop the next generation of leadership for cancer-related nonprofits. They partner with organizations which possess a passion for developing their nonprofit with new energy in the form of a young friends’ group. Through their proven leadership and development model, Launch St. Louis assists not-for-profit and charitable organizations by building these “young friends” committees from scratch.

Kevin Haar, Chairperson for Launch St. Louis, comments, “We believe in the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center. They have made great strides in their fundraising efforts to support the world-renowned Saint Louis University Liver Center in the research and treatment of liver cancer and diseases, and Launch St. Louis believes there is a tremendous opportunity to bring their message and mission to a younger constituency through the development of a ‘young friends’ group.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, primary liver and bile duct cancers are the fifth most common cause of cancer death in men and the ninth most common cause of cancer death in women. The incidence and mortality rates for these cancers have increased in all races and both sexes in the past two decades, indicating a unique need for increased awareness and prevention efforts. Launch St. Louis’ Haar adds, “Because of these factors, the fit with the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center made perfect sense.”

Commenting on this new alliance with Launch St. Louis, Friends Board President Todd Aschbacher notes, “This partnership begins a whole new chapter for the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center. We are looking forward to what the future holds with the development of our organization’s ‘next generation’ of leaders, supporters and volunteers.”

Additional details about the new strategic partnership with Launch St. Louis – as well as the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center – are available by contacting Executive Director Leisa Duff at 314-576-3078 or via email at

And for more information regarding Launch St. Louis, please contact Public Relations Chairperson Jen (Peters) Crichton at 314-422-9305 or via email at; and online at

About the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center                                                                                                 

The mission of the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver is to raise money to support public education; promote understanding and awareness of liver disease; and support research, treatment and cure of liver diseases at the Saint Louis University Liver Center, located at Vista and Grand Blvd. in the city of St. Louis, Missouri.
Since 2003, the Friends organization has raised and donated more than $2.4 million for the SLU Liver Center. These funds help support the critical infrastructure of the Liver Center from faculty salaries to visiting professorships and patient-oriented seminars and research. By leveraging the donations of the Friends, the Liver Center is able to use the funds as “seed grants” for investigators to gather preliminary research data that in turn generates larger grants from outside sources. This seed grant process has generated $18 new dollars from outside the region for every $1 raised locally.

About Launch St. Louis                                                                                                                                       

Comprised of the city’s most renowned young professionals, Launch St. Louis provides the knowledge, resources and energy needed to create young friends groups for cancer-related non-profits. Through its inaugural partnership with Friends of Kids with Cancer in 2009-2011, Launch helped the organization raise more than $24,000; recruit more than 20 Young Friends board members; and build an initial member base of more than 100 interested, engaged and energetic young professionals. In 2012, Launch St. Louis formed a strategic partnership with the Friends of the St. Louis University Liver Center. For more information, visit

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